Despite assumptions that single Millennials are having casual sex all day, every day, our generation actually has fewer sexual partners than previous generations. Believe it or not, Baby Boomers have an average of 11 partners, Gen Xers have 10, and Millennials have eight. So does that mean that what goes down late night on Tinder is a total is a myth? Is the "Hookup Culture" total BS? Not necessarily. What's unique about Millennials is the way we're hooking up. From the effects of contraception to how we're choosing partners to the critical stage of life that exists now, the way singles are having sex outside relationships is just, well, different.
In this episode of Love, Factually — Bustle's new video series exploring the real facts behind how we experience love, dating, and relationships— Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, New York University Professor of Psychology, Jon Birger, Author of Date-O-Nomics , and Hanna Rosin, Author of The End Of Men reveal the important factors that shape how we're having sex these days.
Watch the new episode below, and read on to learn about how hooking up has changed relationships for Millennial women. And tune in each week for a new Love, Factually episode on Bustle's Facebook page:
1. Birth Control
Women being able to have sex without the biological consequences is a fairly new concept for humans — and it's a revolutionary one. While men can have sex with a a ton of different partners and have children with all of those partners, it's not the same for women. "For women, their reproductive potential is limited by their own body whether they're having sex with one man or a hundred men," Dr. Zhana Vrangalova tells Bustle.
2. Assortative Mating
College graduation rates are another factor affecting hooking up — mainly who we're getting down with and dating. Since there are are 33 percent more single, straight college educated women than there are men. And if you're a straight single woman in a large city, you may be well aware of the fact that single straight men have an advantage in dating.
But Birger argues that this fact wouldn't be such a big deal if we were more open-minded about who we date and marry. "Over the past 50 years, there's been a tremendous increase in what sociologists call 'assort mating'," says Birger. "And the odds of a college grad marrying a non-college grads are lower today than at any point over the past 50 years. For women, however, limiting their dating pool to only college age men gives way too much leverage to those guys."
3. Emerging Adulthood
The average age of first marriages has risen — meaning people are single for a lot longer and delaying adulthood. This new period between college and starting a family that our parents didn't have isn't just a meaningless phase though. "It seems to me like a super critical moment for women," Rosin tells Bustle. But just because this new time exists between adolescence and adulthood, where we're hooking up more, it doesn't mean romantic relationships are dunzo. "No one in human history will ever abandon intimacy," Rosin says. "Who doesn't want intimacy? Everyone wants intimacy." Can't argue with that.